American Revolution

The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection

by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
Foreword by Jeremy Black


How did a ragtag army and a group of lawyers, farmers, and businessmen defy a global empire and lead the most successful political revolution in history?

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Cover image for American Revolution

September 2018


Pages 2272
Volumes 5
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
  American History

With more than 1,300 cross-referenced entries covering every aspect of the American Revolution, this definitive scholarly reference covers the causes, course, and consequences of the war and the political, social, and military origins of the nation.

This authoritative and complete encyclopedia covers not only the eight years of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) but also the decades leading up to the war, beginning with the French and Indian War, and the aftermath of the conflict, with an emphasis on the early American Republic.

Volumes one through four contain a series of overview essays on the causes, course, and consequences of the American Revolution, followed by impeccably researched A–Z entries that address the full spectrum of political, social, and military matters that arose from the conflict. Each entry is cross-referenced to other entries and also lists books for further reading. In addition, there is a detailed bibliography, timeline, and glossary.

A fifth volume is devoted to primary sources, each of which is accompanied by an insightful introduction that places the document in its proper historical context. The primary sources help readers to understand the myriad motivations behind the American Revolution; the diplomatic, military, and political maneuvering that took place during the conflict; and landmark documents that shaped the founding and early development of the United States.


  • Contains more than 1,300 A–Z entries on various political, social, and military topics connected with the American Revolution
  • Features contributions from more than 120 distinguished scholars and independent historians from a variety of disciplines
  • Introduces entries with essays on the war's underlying causes and the events that catalyzed its outbreak, a synopsis of the war, and an analysis of its long-term impact
  • Includes key documents relevant to the period, including Common Sense, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, eyewitness battle accounts, speeches, and treaties
  • Supplements entries with hundreds of illustrations depicting colonial and Revolutionary America, plus dozens of maps depicting major geopolitical relationships, large-scale military operations, and individual battles on land and sea
  • Addresses all major Native American tribes involved in the conflict and their role in the war
Author Info

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last six as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a visiting research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, and, as a U.S. Army captain, an intelligence analyst in the Pentagon. He has written or edited 57 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his works are World War II: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.



"Heavy on biographies and battles but lighter on socioeconomics and ideas, the encyclopedia is an admirable scholarly monument to the military aspects of this influential civil and global conflict."Library Journal

"Primary source material is always sought after by the student as well as the seasoned historian, and this volume provides a wealth of it in clean, clear text. . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels."Choice

"Although this reference set features an impressive breadth of topics produced by academics, it is written in a manner that is accessible to lay readers. High school, public, and academic libraries should strongly consider acquiring this title for their reference collection."ARBA


2019 Outstanding Reference Source — Reference and User Services Association — RUSA

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